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34 do not always meet the agency's needs. RTC worked with · APCs do not automatically work once installed. the manufacturer before implementation to create custom- Agencies need lots of resources and knowledge on the ized reports. It was not possible to anticipate all the types hardware (electronics) and software (database) sides. of desired reports, especially because the availability of so · Delegate primary responsibility for APC upkeep and many data through APCs leads to ideas and requests for dif- trouble-shooting to a single maintenance group or per- ferent reports. Staff versed in SQL programming can create son with knowledge of electronics and the equipment needed reports and thus make maximum use of APC data. being used. Involve the maintenance department early on in the process. RTC also notes the need to scrutinize canned reports in · Test everything in real-world conditions. Do not always terms of parameters and data used. For example, a canned believe what the vendor tells you. schedule adherence report may or may not use the same defi- · Reports can be misleading--do not assume the data on nition of "on time" as the agency does. There is a need to the report are what you are looking for. have staff resources, time, and knowledge to make sure the report represents the actual situation. METRO TRANSIT--MADISON, WISCONSIN RTC is moderately satisfied with its APC system. The APCs function well once they are installed and tested, and Metro Transit provides public transportation services in the the data are very useful. Post-processing functions, particu- city of Madison, Wisconsin, and surrounding communi- larly the ability to customize reports, need improvement. ties. The combined service area had a population of around RTC designed customized reports before implementation, 280,000 in the 2000 Census. Metro operates 167 peak buses but reporting is an iterative process. Enhanced data avail- when the University of Wisconsin and the public schools are ability and accuracy have spurred new report designs that in session. Annual ridership across all services is 12.3 mil- better meet the needs of RTC. lion (FY 2006). The major benefits of APCs for RTC include detailed Metro Transit purchased APCs in 2004 as part of an passenger activity at the stop level and running time data upgrade of its radio system. Metro purchased an ITS-type at the route segment level. The data provide a dependable package, with voice and data communication capabilities basis for service and scheduling decision as well as the abil- and computers, GPS, and mobile data terminals on board ity to respond to passenger requests for stop amenities such each bus. APCs were a marginal cost in the scope of the as shelters and benches. entire procurement, and 40 APC units were installed on approximately 18% of Metro's fleet. APC-related issues at RTC include the ease and function- ality of post-processing and reporting procedures, inability The primary benefit of purchasing APCs as part of a to shift an APC unit to a different type of bus without repro- larger procurement is that the GPS component and the entire gramming the door-opening logic, and the need for hardware data structure are included. A disadvantage was perhaps and database training to make full use of APCs. a more limited selection of APC technologies because the prime contractor for the radio system had a preferred set of When RTC began to explore APCs in the context of a APC subconsultants with whom it had worked in the past. broader ITS purchase, there were fewer APC vendors. If the agency could change one thing, it would explore Metro has never been completely satisfied with the func- APC capabilities across manufacturers, particularly in the tioning of the APC units. The system uploads raw data areas of hardwaresoftware interface and post-processing (unadjusted counts by bus number, with only positional procedures. coordinates and a time stamp) to a database, where this information is then automatically processed overnight. The Lessons learned include the following: system correlates the raw data with route, block/trip, and